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A difference of opinion with a friend and a poll of sorts(21 posts)

A difference of opinion with a friend and a poll of sortsPaulCL
Mar 17, 2003 9:04 AM
A friend and I rode 55 miles on Saturday. On a whim, I suggested heading on a new, unknown route. This route was all farmroads and very hilly including one 20%+ steeeeep climb. I think we both enjoyed the ride except for being constantly chased by dogs.

After the fact, my friend said that he really likes to keep on well known routes so that he can concentrate on the bike. He doesn't like "exploring" as much since once in a while we had to stop to figure out where to go. Admittedly, the new route slowed our average speed significantly with the stops and unknow turns, etc. I, on the other hand, love finding new routes, exploring new roads. To me, it keeps the riding more exciting that just trying to put on miles. I like my normal routes for short, training, rides.

So, which camp do you fall into?? The old 'tried and true' routes?? Or looking for new routes?
both, depends on the goalDougSloan
Mar 17, 2003 9:09 AM
If I'm doing a serious training ride, I stick to known routes, timing myself from point to point, etc. He's right, it allows you to focus on the training.

However, there is nothing more fun than exploring new routes. It helps to keep things fresh. Just do this on your LSD or recovery days.

Doug
Ditto............nmMR_GRUMPY
Mar 17, 2003 9:29 AM
I agree...based on the goalPaulCL
Mar 17, 2003 11:47 AM
I go out on some rides just to set a PR over a given route. But my friend NEVER wants to explore new possibilites...just stick with one of several routes. I like to add a few routes every year. Luckily, I live in an area where the options are wide open.

Riding a new route doesn't necessarilly mean going slowly. Yes, the average speed will probably be lower but that's an even exchange for a change of scenery. Just a difference of opinion....

I actually think its' the fact that he's found some routes that are relatively 'dog free' so he rides them over and over again. He hates dogs. He said he'd rather ride in heavy traffic than in an area with lots of dogs. Not me. I look at dogs like potholes...they'll always be there, just learn to deal with them. Our ride Saturday was very, very doggie.
Sometimes I take the road less traveled...DINOSAUR
Mar 17, 2003 9:22 AM
I usually stick to my favorite routes, but every now and then I will explore in order to push up my ride distance. Otherwise I end up doing loops on the same roads all of the time. For safety reasons I pick the roads I'm familiar with, but it's fun to explore. Being retired I seldom have to worry about a time frame. I never really know where I am going until I hit a certain fork in the road and sometimes it just depends on which way the traffic is approaching as to which way I go....the only way to find out the bad places is to ride them...it also helps to know where the mean dogs hang out and if I'm in the mood to out sprint them or not (as in American Flyers).....also the "same old roads" change depending on the time of year, so nothing is really ever the same....I guess it's a mind thing....makes me wonder how the pros do it....
depends on the dayColnagoFE
Mar 17, 2003 9:23 AM
I like to explore new routes, but if I know I only have 2 hours and have to be home at a set time I have to use the tried and true routes to insure I get home in time--it's also nice when you just want to TT and not have to pay much attention to where you are going. Problem is there aren't all that many routes (at least safe ones) that I haven't been on anymore.
Both and for almost the same reason as above.wasabekid
Mar 17, 2003 9:32 AM
Known route to concentrate on training. Specially if you are trying to set new PB's. You set a average speed goal at the start, you're familiar with the twist/turns/flats/rollers and hills sections and you really concentrate on learning/desciplining how to pace yourself while aiming for a new PB.

Explore new route to force your self to go stupid slow for recovery ride because of the built in speed limiting factor of being careful on a new unfamiliar territory.

W.
Restricted by where I liveRJF
Mar 17, 2003 9:32 AM
In theory I would love to try different routes all the time, but two things prevent that.

First, I live right in the middle of a 1,000,000 population urban area. There are only so many places I can ride where I wont be risking my life in heavy traffic. Unfortunately, I'm stuck with the same few tried and true (and safe) routes from my house.

Second, I have young kids which means my 2 hour ride needs to be 2 hours or there are going to be a lot of angry/disappointed people at home wondering why their trip to the zoo has been postponed/cancelled. So, I'm hesitent to explore.
same heretarwheel
Mar 17, 2003 9:57 AM
Living in an urban area, not all roads here are suitable or safe for cycling. So I generally stick to known routes to avoid having to fight it out with heavy traffic. I also usually have to be back home by a certain time, so it wouldn't earn me any brownie points with the wife to show up two hours late.

Striking out on unknown routes is an easier proposition if you live in the Midwest and other areas with grid pattern roads. In the East, the roads were laid out on old Indian trails, trade routes and according to the topography -- so you can't just assume that if you take a north-heading road it will stay in that direction. It's easy to get lost, in other words. My brother lives in Illinois, and he can pretty much ride anywhere without a map because virtually all of the roads head either north-south or east-west. Hard to get lost.
We manage to get lost even on rides we know well.MB1
Mar 17, 2003 9:43 AM
We enjoy both knowing where we are and not knowing where the road goes. We avoid training though, we just like to ride.
I explore with a mission.Scot_Gore
Mar 17, 2003 9:44 AM
Many of my rides are over routes I've never travelled. However, they are almost all planned out ahead of time. My habit is to pick a place I want to go and spend some times with maps and regional published bike guides to plan the route out. I make a crib sheet for myself and go.

I don't generally have to slow much to figure out where I am or where I need to turn, I figured that out ahead of time and can make the call on the fly from my crib sheet memory.

Scot
Depends on what you mean by unknownmohair_chair
Mar 17, 2003 9:50 AM
I rarely will take a completely unknown route. I need to know something about it first. That doesn't mean I don't ride on unknown roads. I ride unknown roads a lot on organized rides, on rides with friends, or on the recommendations of friends or guide books. Basically, someone needs to vouch for it, because I don't want to find myself on a gravel road with dump trucks roaring by.

It's getting harder for me to ride unknown roads around here anyway, because I don't think there are very many ride-worthy roads in my area that I haven't already ridden.

I do some exploring around the city where I live to find new and better ways to get out of suburbia, but I have a general idea of where things are, so I can't get too far lost. I would never do that out in the middle of nowhere.
eeny meeny miny moe...Kristin
Mar 17, 2003 10:06 AM
I love to explore, but I agree with the posts above. If I have something spacific to accomplish, or need to be home by a certain time I can't always. Plus, depending on where you live (Chicago) exploring can get you in trouble too. I've explored and ended up on some scary roads with no way to exit. But I love seeing new sites. My favorite rides ever were those Sunday rides when I just packed a days food/water, and rode off with no particular plans. If I saw a pretty tree, next to a pond, I'd just stop and sit for a while, too. Hmmmm....springtime!
Tried & True Routes nmPdxMark
Mar 17, 2003 10:13 AM
Ride vs. tour.Spoke Wrench
Mar 17, 2003 10:13 AM
While I might just put my head down and go sometimes, most of the time I prefer to tour. Even on an out and back course, I'm frequently surprised by things I see on the return route that I missed on the way out. I don't even have computers on certain bikes because, when I have one, I tend to be dissatisfied if my average speed is slower than on my last ride.
I go where the ride leads me.dzrider
Mar 17, 2003 10:38 AM
If it's hard to make a left, I go straight or make a right. If I don't feel like a hill at the moment, I avoid one. I explore anytime I have enough time to do it comfortably. Even riding to work is an opportunity to go out of my way. Cycling is play for me and should involve as little planning and as much spontaneity as possible!
re: A difference of opinion with a friend and a poll of sortsshamelessgearwhore
Mar 17, 2003 10:46 AM
I stop for coffee frequently so my average speed suffers as a result. Sometimes I stop at Garage sales too. Then when I ride, I like to pump it as much as poss. I think looking at your AVS too much can lead to too much blowing through traffic lights and stop signs.
both nmJS Haiku Shop
Mar 17, 2003 11:28 AM
re: A difference of opinion with a friend and a poll of sortsVelojon
Mar 17, 2003 12:22 PM
I'm a new route kind of guy. Sometimes it gets me into some veeerrryyyy llloooonngggg rides. I live in the US but work about 3-4 months of the year in Austria. I keep a Trek in Austria so I always can ride on weekends. I usually head out and pick a new route each time armed only with a crude map and some Euros. Since I don't speak German (and I hate to ask for directions anyway), I sometimes spend the entire day riding around trying to get home (I've had to catch a train home once)

Velojon
did your route go out towards Lake Kincaid?lonefrontranger
Mar 17, 2003 1:00 PM
If so, my SO got me lost out there. We got chased by dogs, groveled up many steep hills and our teammate was even chased by a miniature billy goat. funniest darned thing I ever saw. Some really bemused nice old farmer gave us directions, and asked us where we rode from. When we said "Cincinnati" he said "boy you guys sure are crazy!" - meaning it in a nice way. That's a really beautiful part of the world.

My "favorite" climb in that neck of the woods is the one that comes off Rt. 8 out of Rabbit Hash. Urgh. I think I broke my left butt cheek on that climb.

As far as your poll, some of the best ride routes we've ever found have been at the mercy of a "Bataan Death Cruise" day - where you get lost, bonk, run out of water, spare tubes, call your momma and beg for mercy, etc... It's one of those fun spirit of adventure things that you will gripe about at the time, but remember fondly for years afterward.
About 10 miles awayPaulCL
Mar 18, 2003 6:56 AM
We crossed over the Visalia bridge into Campbell county then headed south. We came within about 10 miles of Lake Kincaid. Funny you mentioned goats...as we ran into, and had to stop because of, a group (herd,school,??) of billygoats. And we stopped two nice farmer guys in a big pickemup truck for directions.

I know of your 'favorite' climb out of Rabbit Hash. I've screamed a few obscenities climbing that one. The one we rode this weekend wasn't quite as long, but much, much steeper. I would love to go back and measure it's grade. It was much steeper than any hill I've ever climbed in Ohio, KY, In, Colorado, Virgina, etc....

And yes...I've been on a couple of "Bataan Death Cruises" where if you make it home under your own power, you've really had an accomplishment. Did one last year - a solo century where the temp spike up to the mid-90's. I was fried and bonked at the 85 mile mark. No water, no food, two flats, and 15 miles to go. I just laid in the shade and prayed my death would be a quick one. Somehow, I crawled back home....and promptly ate everything in the fridge.